PAY360 Day one
Event Analysis Paytech Trending

PAY360 2023: Day One Highlights

We take a look back on some of the highlights from day one of the PAY360 conference, hosted by The Payments Association

2023’s edition of the annual meeting place for the payments industry took place at Old Billingsgate Market, London and welcomed 2,000 senior representatives from banks, merchants, government, investors, fintechs and more to discuss all things payments. 

Marion King
Marion King, chair of the OBIE

Marion King, chair of the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) discussed the current ‘state of the nation’ and the role open banking has to play.

“What open banking is here for is to get the infrastructure where it needs to be, building in fundamental foundations. Working with regulators, working with consumers and working with SME groups, what can we do more to get it to where it needs to be?”

Louise Hueting, head of payments product, business and commercial banking at Lloyds Bank took centre stage with the event’s first keynote address discussing ‘The future of payments and a response to the cost-of-living crisis ’.

“The payments marketplace continues to evolve and regulation has paved the way for both fintech and paytech providers.”

Hueting also discussed the importance of real-time payments: “Real-time payments and real-time payment infrastructure really denote the future of payments, whereby demand has grown and regulators and customers and innovations in technology can now enable the capability of more payment rails.”

Environmental concerns

Environmental concerns were a recurring factor across PAY360’s three stages throughout the entire day. Speakers shared stats, concerns and potential solutions to the existing climate crisis.

Jim Colvine
Jim Colvine, SVP of global consumer solutions at Mastercard

Jim Colvine, SVP of global consumer solutions at Mastercard, continued proceedings in the morning on the main stage with his talk titled: ‘Harnessing the network – Embedding environmental sustainability in the payments ecosystem’.

“Anyone can see the impact of climate change and the natural disasters in California, Florida, Pakistan, Europe, Australia and many other places around the world. There’s more flooding, more wildfires, and more intense storms. In fact, it’s hard to find a part of our ecology or our economy that is not affected. Finance is not immune to these changes.

“At Mastercard, we were the first in the payments industry to set a net zero target, and we have since accelerated our timeline to achieving that in 2040.”

Sustainability’s the word 

During a later panel looking at ‘things to watch out for in merchant payments’, Tamerat Gebchara, head of sales at Tietoevry Banking, discussed how card providers should hold environmental issues at the front of their minds in the near future. “There are 10 billion plastic cards in the world. There are so many African and Southeast Asian mobile-first countries, meaning there aren’t many cards there.

“In the rest of the world, we therefore must have far more than one card individually. So we must make sure that the plastic used is sustainable. And if it doesn’t need to be plastic, then we need to consider a metal card. There is sometimes also no need to have any physical form factors – and go virtual instead. That way you make sure that you have a sustainable product from the get-go.”

5 things merchant payments panel
Angela Yore, Mike Elliff and Tamerat Gebchara discussed ‘Five things to watch out for in merchant payments’.

Later, Matt Bullivant, director of ESG at OakNorth Bank, also discussed ESG in banking – including what banks and businesses need to consider when thinking about all elements of ESG.

“You really need to know what ESG means to your business, and what resources you can use. It’s all about how we tailor all these elements in the most effective way.”

Regulators speak CBDCs

The ever-important discussion of regulation took precedence in the following panel discussion, as speakers covered open banking, CBDCs and more.

Kate Frankish, chief business development officer at Pay.UK, discussed important areas to think about regarding the potential implementation of CBDCs.

“We need to consider as a market very carefully how we have a digital currency and how it is transported. In the Bank of England‘s [CBDC] consultation, there’s a need for a new platform. We’re already investing in all of the targets to RTGS changes from a payments perspective. So, when there are infrastructures that are coming that can actually transport different forms of value, we should look to use as infrastructure.”

Chris Hemsley, managing director of Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), also offered his opinion on the topic: “Businesses need to trust the payments and customers need to trust it. It’s a parallel I draw to what open banking needs to work fully in that space. It needs to be able to solve disputes, it needs to provide consumer protection, through the prevention of authorised push payment fraud. And if we want any new technology, including CBDCs, to go into that space, it’s going to need to solve that as well.”

regulation panel
‘The regulation rabbit hole’ panel took place in front of a full house on the main stage
Real-time innovations yet to come in financial services

‘How is open banking laying the foundations for an open future?’, was the question posed to the next guest speakers on stage, who spoke about the potential of open banking, as well as Visa’s partnership with Tink.

Mark Nelsen, SVP of payments and platforms at Visa, spoke about areas the financial industry needs to catch up on: “As consumers, we’re so accustomed to immediacy because so many of the industries around us have become real-time. You can pay for something online and get same-day delivery. However, things being real-time and immediate hasn’t really trickled through to financial services.”

Tom Pope
Tom Pope, SVP of payments and platforms at Tink

Tom Pope, SVP of payments and platforms at Tink, discussed its new ‘pay-by-bank’ payment option and how its partnership with Visa could support greater adoption.

“I genuinely believe the pay-by-bank experience in the UK is the best single payments experience out there. However, it’s still tough to convince people to trust us. Luckily most people do trust Visa. Visa is one of the most trusted brands in the world – and for good reason. And that’s one of the reasons why we’re so excited to be with you. They can bring us a bunch of kind of sophistication behind the scenes and things like guidance, service availability, robustness and things like that.”

Open banking… 

The next panel on ‘monetising open banking’ covered alternative ways open banking could impact the future of payments.

Dan Baker, EMEA product head of payment rails and value-added services at J.P. Morgan, said: “If we look at traditionally how buying properly, we have product managers that feed in their requirements into the technology teams. If you think about more of a fintech approach, it’s very client-centric usually. There’s a great opportunity for a change in mindset which will lead to more thought-provoking and innovative solutions.”

Helene Oger-Zaher, manager of payments policy at the FCA, explained the resources available for innovation: “We have sandboxes, we have data and we have buyers talking to each other – what we’re looking for fintechs to do, there’s a tremendous amount of untapped potential of data, that if we looked at it as revenue creation, compliance is an advantage. Via a collaboration with open banking, there’s a huge opportunity to do some really innovative things.”

monetising open banking
The panel focusing on ‘Monetising open banking’ on the main stage at PAY360
…and innovation

Jessica Richards, head of market development and payments at Natwest, also discussed the potential of open banking on the ‘show floor theatre’ stage.

Open banking
Jessica Richards, head of market development and payments at Natwest

“Open banking is really a game changer. To give people the power to control their finance and payment is really what open banking does. It is important that access opens to competitions and innovations, but it must be done in a safe way.”

During another panel, Mike Elliff, CEO of Tyl and Payit, discussed how open banking emerged as a useful tool for innovation.

“We were expected to see open banking as a competitor. But what we found is that the two complement each other more than anything. I think the use case we talked about earlier, is that if you were to pay your credit card debts, you do that either by pulling out your debit card and keying in all of that information – or pay by account. So that doesn’t mean you no longer have a debit or credit card. It’s just that you’re making the experience more seamless for customers.”

The future of lending

Mark McMurtrie, ambassador of The Payments Association, moderated another panel focused on the changing lending landscape, and how lending could look in the future.

Wasim Mushtaq, former transformation lead of financial markets at Standard Chartered, explained his views on how lending has changed in recent history.

“Lending is a service now. It’s about what else you can provide above and beyond just the money. A lot of SMEs don’t have CFOs. They made need other support like a virtual CFO or a financial director. They may need support for access to cash, or forecasting. Open APIs has been a big one for me”.

Rahul Duseja, director of credit at Cashplus Bank, discussed the issues that exist with the amount of data that is now produced: “With a huge amount of data, comes a huge amount of responsibility. You have to make sure that you use the data in the right format now. We do have capabilities now to analyse vast amounts of data but, in the end, you need to be able to use that to make decisions in the right way.”

Susana Froment, global head of financial and credit risk at Tide, offered her view on creating a positive customer experience: “One way we can create great customer experience is providing a seamless end-to-end customer journey, meaning if we focus on enabling customers to be onboarded automatically digitally, so they don’t have to go to a branch.”

The future of lending
Mark McMurtrie, Rahul Duseja, Susana Froment and Wasim Mushtaq discussed ‘the future of lending’
Living in a cashless world

As payments worldwide continue to transition towards digital transactions and away from the use of cash, one of the final panel sessions on day one of PAY360 asked ‘Should cashless retail be illegal?’.

Matteo Dessi, ambassador of The Payments Association, moderated the panel, covering the importance of retaining access to cash. Natalie Ceeney, chair of Access to Cash, also discussed her view on the dangers of society going cashless: “Right now we have a sizeable population that depends on cash. Most small retailers tell you they will take whatever the customer wants to pay using. When receiving cash, the nearest bank branch can be 20 miles away and only open a minimal number of hours a week. Ease of banking is the biggest driver of retailers going cashless.”

“London can confuse us because it’s a region that can become mostly digital. There are also a lot of very poor people who rely on the cash economy to get stay connected. So, there are regional variations. People risk being excluded in cities just as much as in rural areas because it’s easier for retailers to go cashless. Cash acceptance is absolutely key to keeping cash viable,” Ceeney also explained.

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